Lionsgate reports second-quarter profit

TV revenue helps fuel $31.7 mil in earnings

TORONTO -- Higher TV revenue and lower theatrical marketing costs helped Lionsgate on Monday swing back into a second-quarter profit.

Vancouver-based Lionsgate posted $31.7 million in earnings, or 27 cents a share, for the three months to Sept. 30, against a loss of $52 million, or 44 cents a share, in 2008.

Second-quarter revenue was up 3% to $393.6 million, against a year-earlier $380.7 million, helped by $27.7 million in new revenue from TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com.

Lionsgate also saw theatrical marketing costs fall 66% during the second quarter to $37.6 million, against $109.7 million in 2008.

And TV revenue rose 30% to $88.9 million, as the studio continues to diversify away from theatrical film to small-screen production and hits such as Showtime's "Weeds" and AMC's "Mad Men."

Elsewhere, overall motion picture revenue was down 11% to $277.1 million, as theatrical revenue fell 11% to $30.3 million. Lionsgate released "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself" and "Gamer," against four wide releases in Q2 2008.

Lionsgate's home entertainment revenue from the motion picture segment also slid during the latest quarter, down 25% to $123.4 million. That was offset by TV revenue in the motion pictures segment rising 10% to $68.2 million, and Mandate Pictures contributing revenue up 21% to $25.7 million on titles that included "Horsemen," "Passengers" and "Whip It."

Second-quarter international revenue was off 4% to $27.5 million.

"As anticipated, we had another strong financial quarter, showing what we can achieve from our diversified portfolio of businesses as we benefited from strong contributions from our television production operations and new revenue from TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com," Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement.

Lionsgate is to hold an analyst call Tuesday morning to discuss its second-quarter results.
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